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Publication of the Consob Working Paper (Quaderno di finanza) with the title: "Attitude towards financial planning of Italian households" (6 October 2022)

Consob has published the Working Paper (Quaderno di finanza) no. 89 with the title "Attitude towards financial planning of Italian households" drawn up in collaboration with professors at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

The Working Paper shows the results of an analysis aimed at understanding the factors which are associated with the propensity to financial planning of Italian households and the levers which can be adopted to promote such a behavior, for example through financial education. Several empirical studies show the association between the propensity to planning with a higher level of financial well-being as well as with an increase in the ability to react to unexpected events, thus emphasizing the relevance of raising people's awareness towards planning. The subject has a particular importance in the Italian context, where the planning attitude is not widespread. The analysis was conducted with data from the Consob survey on the investment choices of Italian households for the three-year period 2019-2021.

The results obtained show evidence of a positive association between financial planning and financial knowledge as well as the relevance of financial control behaviors (control/management of savings, expenses, and debt) and the overall financial condition. A significant role can also be assigned to personal characteristics, such as the perception of self-efficacy in the financial field and the attitude to perceive anxiety in managing one's finances, both of which are associated with a lower planning propensity. More in details, individuals believing to be capable of managing their financial problems in any situation and respondents who feel uncomfortable in the management of their finances and prefer not to deal with them, appear less likely to planning.

The collected evidence offers interesting indications for the segmentation of financial decision-makers, useful for planning financial education initiatives and for developing an intermediary-customer relationship aimed at promoting correct attitudes and choices in the management of personal finances. In particular, the need to raise awareness of financial skills and the distorting effects that other individual traits can have on economic choices are emphasized. In this context, it is crucial the adoption of effective tools for the detection of individual characteristics such as, for example, multi-item questionnaires validated by the experimental literature.